How could a casual observer of the Senate know that Johnny Isakson (GA) is not up for reelection this cycle? When he makes comments like this regarding the Reid gun control bill:
“We have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced, I understand, last night, but I think it deserves a vote up-or-down.”
Yup, he is not up for reelection until 2016, and there’s no potential challenger on the horizon. Those members who feel the heat on their right flank this cycle, on the other hand, are obviously taking a more rational approach to protecting our Constitution.
The dynamic of the Senate is real simple. There are 55 Democrats in the Senate. Every one of them has no regard for the Constitution, including the Second Amendment. That’s why Joe Manchin, the supposed gun champion on the Democrat side, has been working night and day to find a politically safe means of passing a gun control bill. As such, any “up-or-down” vote on a Democrat bill on guns (or anything else, for that matter) will automatically pass.
If Republicans are of the belief that there must be an up-or-down vote on bills that violate the most unambiguous part of the Bill of Rights, then what is the purpose of serving in the Senate? Since the Democrats have a clear majority, senators like Johnny Isakson should just stay home. Serving in the minority in the Senate is inherently an invidious task. When confronted with bad legislation, especially bills that violate the Bill of Rights, the only way to obstruct them is by getting your hands dirty with a filibuster. If you’re not up to the task, then go back to Georgia and run for your county school board.
Then again, most Republicans in the Senate think their job is to ameliorate bad legislation – put lipstick on the pig in order to placate the irascible GOP base back home. That’s the same mentality that saddled us with Obamacare.
Update: The following senators have joined the No Filibuster Against Gun Control Caucus: John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Susan Collins (Maine).